(German Spice Cookies)
Makes 3 dozen
I adapted this recipe from the recipe in the recent Saveur Magazine
These deliciously fragrant cookies provide a delightful rush of warm spices—and holiday cheer—when bitten into. For the best results, start with whole spices and grind them yourself.
½ cup honey
1/3 cup molasses
2 TB butter
2 eggs, room temperature
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/3 cup almonds, finely ground
¾ tsp ground cinnamon
¾ tsp ground black pepper
¾ tsp ground clove
¾ tsp ground cardamom
½ tsp ground allspice
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp almond extract
½ tsp lemon extract
2 TB vegetable oil
1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1-2 TB light rum
½ tsp lemon extract
Put honey, molasses and butter into a small pot and cook over medium-heat, stirring constantly, until hot, 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. When cool, add eggs and whisk to combine.
Put flour, almonds, cinnamon, pepper, cloves, cardamom, allspice and baking powder into a large bowl and stir to combine. Add the extracts to the honey mixture and add to the flour mixture and beat with a wooden spoon until combined, to form dough.
Cover surface of dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment and set aside.
Lightly oil your palms with some of the oil. Form dough into 36 balls, each about 1 inch wide (the dough will be very sticky, so keep your hands lightly oiled while working-for real!). Divide dough balls between baking sheets keeping them spaced 1 inch apart.
Bake until slightly cracked on top and just firm to the touch, about 15 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool slightly.
Meanwhile, whisk together confectioners’ sugar, rum, lemon extract and 5 tsp hot water to make a smooth glaze. While cookies are still warm, use a pastry brush to coat each one with a layer of glaze. Set cookies aside to let cool completely.
Eat right away or store in an airtight container, layered between sheets of waxed paper, for up to one week.
NOTE: The original recipe called for candied lemon peel. I couldn't find it and was planning to substitute some lemon zest, but my lemon was about a year past it's prime--hard and shrunken to about the size of a lime...so I skipped it and that's when I added the lemon extract. Next time I'll try to add the zest and still keep the extract.